GOTM 2.0 Brainstorming

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by Frederiksberg, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. Frederiksberg

    Frederiksberg Deity

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    Now that the GOTM staff has been strengthened with new enthusiastic members I was thinking that a discussion on how to develop the GOTM might be welcomed :mischief:. Anyway, here is a thread where we can probe the interest and ideas of the Civfanatics community. I have decided to structure this as a brainstorming so basically we will be generating all sorts of ideas and then leave it up to the staff to use whatever ideas they like and find feasible.

    The basic questions we are trying to answer are something like:

    How can GOTM be developed so that it ...
    1. ...becomes even more fun?
    2. ...attracts more people?
    3. ...sparks more forum discussions?


    The ground rules for a brainstorming are:

    1. Focus on quantity
    2. Withhold criticism
    3. Welcome unusual ideas
    4. Combine and improve ideas

    See also Wikipedia on Brainstorming

    Let's go.....!
     
  2. Frederiksberg

    Frederiksberg Deity

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    I'll go first :D

    How about making a GOTM Championship?

    I had a lot of sympathy for the BOTM Gauntlet and what I liked particularly was that some of the best players were all competing for the same victory condition (VC). I had some reservations regarding other features of the Gauntlet but this is not the place to discuss this according to ground rule #2.

    Anyway, my idea is that a Championship could contain some of the same features and more:

    • Only one VC per Championship Game
    • More visibility to game tactics applied (Spoilers etc)
    • Bringing the GOTM community together for a big event (like SGOTMS)

    I'm thinking that such an event should happen less frequently than the GOTM - maybe once per year and with a time frame of 1-2 months maximum. Regarding the VC's selected there are several options depending on how many Championship Games we would want to have. Since there are 5 VC's (excluding time VC) it may be too much to have all (5 games in 2 months) every year.

    It would further add to this competition if intermediate saves could be uploaded so that everyone could follow the progress graphs we know from the SGOTMS now only for the individual players. It should, of course, not be possible to download the saves - or maybe there should be an exception so that the all say 0AD saves were public after some intermediate deadline is reached. This could coincide with the midgame spoilers and the idea would be to create more spoiler activity and discussion of the games.

    On the difficulty level issue I would suggest that there were two groups playing the same map and VC but with different difficulty level. The "Championship Group" should be playing Emperor/Immortal and the "Adventurer Group" perhaps Noble/Prince.

    Hope to hear some comments and of course lot's of brand new ideas...:goodjob:
     
  3. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    My favourite xOTM maps of all time where the ones where the map forced something different.

    This game and this game back from when I still played Civ 3 were two of the most interesting maps I can remember playing. Now, I wouldn't want it to be like that every month, but the occasional wtfmap is definately a good thing.
     
  4. Cactus Pete

    Cactus Pete Deity GOTM Staff

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    "maybe there should be an exception so that the all say 0AD saves were public after some intermediate deadline is reached. This could coincide with the midgame spoilers and the idea would be to create more spoiler activity and discussion of the games."

    Perhaps require everyone to post a sequence of intermediate saves by a set dates, then encourage discussion of the date1 saves by allowing them to be downloaded only after the date2 saves are posted. Suggest that any player who wins this challenge be excluded for the next several games and asked to instead devote some time to analyzing the most promising intermediate saves after each date and post that analysis, thereby faciltating the discussion.
     
  5. darreljnz

    darreljnz Chieftain

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    I'm quite new to the xOTM and I'm at Prince/Monarch level so I'll put in my comments from the point of view of a newcomer who doesn't play Emperor/Deity.

    Fundamentally, why I play xOTM is that it gives me focus. In my home games I often lose interest if its not going well or if I'm not playing optimally. In xOTM games I find I enjoy it a lot more because I always have in mind that it is a competivtive game so I'm a lot more focussed. I find this focus improves my game.

    So I guess its two thing which really draw me to the game:
    1. Competetive play
    2. Improvement through focus

    I'm having heaps of fun already even though I've only played 3 games. I think usage of the HOF mod and the professionalism of the staff make it a very enjoyable game. There aren't arguments over rules or contentious results.

    Perhaps we could post intermediate saves as well as final saves so new players could see how more experienced players played the game. Maybe 0AD, 500AD and final? I think I would do more post-game analysis if I had other peopels saves to compare to my own.

    I suggest the consistant variation in the difficulty level such as we already have should remain. Usually at least one of GOTM, WOTM and BOTM are at a level I can play. This makes the xOTM quite accessible to new players (or, like me, poor players). I've noticed that there are often forum comments on the lower level games that the games aren't challenging enough. My view is that we need those games in order to help new people get interested and involved. Keeping the current mix of game levels as it stands would be my biggest suggestion. If the games became more focussed on the Emperor and above then I think we'd lose a lot of participants.

    We could start another set of games for the non-standard maps. My preference is for standard maps since I still have trouble with the basic strategy - let alone strategy to cope with non-standard maps. But there is often a call for these types of maps. Perhaps a MOTM (map of the month) where a heavily customised map is used?

    Maybe add the xOTM games to the Sample Games Directory thread in the Strategy forum? This would allow people to play shadow games after the fact to test their strategies then compare with other people.
     
  6. Sarek

    Sarek Logical

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    Possibly, instead of the three levels of "starts" we have now (with different starting skill/unit additions and subtractions on the same difficulty level), we go to an idenitcal map played on three different skill levels?
    Then after every month's awards are handed out, the Top 10 (or whatever number) move up a level and the Bottom 10 move down a level?
    * Sort of like a European Football thing...
    Just a thought.
     
  7. da_Vinci

    da_Vinci Gypsy Prince

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    Well, are there any lesson to be had from competitive Chess?

    Sounds like some of the ideas revolve around different tiers within the same games, and perhaps separate awards in the various tiers?

    Seems unlikely that any change will involve more games than we have now, given time constraints ... most likely if at all, is one map at different difficulties.

    Tournament chess all starts on the same map :)lol:) but players are in skill brackets based on ratings. So there are various tiers of play, and tiers of awards. This is contingent upon having a ratings system, and in chess that is based on a head to head format.

    What would a ratings system in GOTM look like? Probably not global rankings, which reward participation as much as skill (how else am I so high :mischief:). A ratings system would need to rank based on completed games ... and perhaps need a separate rank for each version (G,W,B).

    All of which sounds like a lot of complexity (self-criticism is allowed, right? ;)). Maybe too much for our purposes ... but is some scaled down version of these ideas useful?

    Thinking further, one wrinkle is how hard it is to define good or bad performance in a game where speed and score excellence can be almost mutually exclusive ... not sure I have an answer for that one.

    Hmm ... maybe a simple scheme would be to say that a player has a rank (in the sense of military rank, not numerical order) equal to the highest difficulty level that they have a winning record in. Not unlike the question that we ask in SGOTM, "what level are you comfortable playing on". With that in hand, one could have a game with Diety, Emperor, Prince levels, and say that you must play your rank or higher. Next game could have Immortal, Monarch, Noble, with the same idea.

    Would have a rookie rank, until players had accumulated a certain number of games (maybe 5?). Rookies could play anywhere they choose, except that a rookie winning an award automatically make their rank the level of that game. In fact, maybe winning an award does that for non-rookies too?

    Time to end this stream of conscousness ramble.

    dV
     
  8. da_Vinci

    da_Vinci Gypsy Prince

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    Hmm, first attempt did not seem to go through, but now I see it did ... never mind!

    dV
     
  9. Cactus Pete

    Cactus Pete Deity GOTM Staff

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    Concept of rating players and tiers of play has appeal. Is it practical?

    Where is this thread located other than a link within other threads?
     
  10. Harok

    Harok Vagabond

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    Thoughts off the top of my head.

    My favorite part of the XotMs is comparing games, I love things like the map showing where everyone settled, so if possible I would love to have some statistics collected. For instance things like -

    Date you got your 3rd, 6th, or 9th cities (if you did).
    Date key techs were reached (Liberalism, Astronomy, Civil Service, Biology, etc.)
    Date of First Great General (or just great person?).
    Total number of great people generated.

    That is all I could think of right now but I'm sure there are other things that would give people a good idea of things they can look at to improve their game.
     
  11. da_Vinci

    da_Vinci Gypsy Prince

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    Below the umteen zillion stickies ...


    dV
     
  12. da_Vinci

    da_Vinci Gypsy Prince

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    Extending my previous ramble ...

    Would we want to have games below noble? Assuming that the XOTMs always had either prince or noble as lowest of three tiers, is that low enough?

    If not, how about a training league ... maybe only in Vanilla ... with games at Warlord one month, (or even every other month), Noble the next time around. To make it simple, the game could be an unedited random start ... reducing staff effort in prep. A wining record in the training league after five games makes you ineligible to continue in that league (if it has its own awards). Maybe winning an award in that league does too, regardless of how many games.

    Ideally, we get one good player to volunteer to play the game and post how they approached it in the spoilers, as a teaching example. Different veterans each round to share this task.

    This assumes that there is enough new blood to warrant such a league.

    dV
     
  13. ChrisShaffer

    ChrisShaffer Board gamer

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    How about merging BUG and HOF mods?
     
  14. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    Brainstorming

    1.- What about a single competition instead of several paralel competitions? I mean, not an award for the fastest domination and another award for the fastest conquest, but an award for the fastest finish, whatever the victory condition.

    2.- What about adding the previous "fastest finish, whatever the victory condition" to the current list of awards?

    3.- What about an Award to the staff member that creates maps whose "fastest finish, whatever the victory condition" doesn't always be won by domination? The closer the fisnish dates accross different VCs, the better the map.

    4.- What about a "X king of the hill" award for the person holding the most awards of type X?

    5.- What about forgetting about score and eliminatiing medals?

    6.- What about gold/silver/bronze awards for speed, as there are for score?

    7.- What about only gold for score, abolishing silver and bronze?

    8.- What about a mandatory VC every month?

    9.- What about developping our own scoring system, making points meaningful?

    10.- What about mandatory spoiler describing the first 25 turns?

    11.- What abot mandatory spoiler?

    12.- What about adding score or substracting years according to the existence/quality of the spoiler?

    13.- What about an Award for the most posts in a spoiler thread? Required for Heptathlon, of course.

    14.- What about passwords to write/read spoilers while the competition is ongoing?

    15.- What about extreme maps, SGOTM stile?

    16.- What about "solve the problem" competions? Like checkmate in 3 moves in chess... You take a save of a game and you have to build Oxford in 3 turns, or get to Alphabet in 10 turns, or trade as much as you can in 12 turns...

    17.- What about starting with the option that gives you some money and allows you to buy settlers/visibility/techs... with that money before the game starts?
     
  15. LowtherCastle

    LowtherCastle Deity

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    #1 and #2. How about someone putting together a high-quality, CFC-wide survey to find out from people not participating what would make it more fun and attractive?

    #3. The one time I really got into the forum discussion was after the deity ROme game a while ago and just as that discussion got going, some admin stopped it in its tracks because people were experimenting with post-submission replays and for some to-me-unfathomable reason, that had to be postponed till after the GOTM was concluded. Then, of course, the discussion never picked up again, because we had all forgotten what had happened or were off doing something else.

    So my suggestion for #3 is to relax the spoiler rules as much as legitimately possible, under the assumption that honest people won't cheat and who cares if dishonest people condemn themselves to eternal damnation. :cool:
     
  16. karlis

    karlis Chieftain

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    Lots of great suggestions from Jesusin and others.
    I would certainly love from time to time a map that is heavily modified and of unknown type.
    I also like that idea about providing more statistics on how were people doing during the game. E.g. when did they reach alphabet, liberalism, etc key techs, Oracle, Pyramids and other key wonders (or probably when did their competitor reached them if they were faster).
    Regarding attracting new players. The question is following -- those who already are here are more or less involved with the GOTM. There is probably not much effort needed to convince them to try the game. But how do you get new blood from somewhere else? How do you make other people aware that there is such an excellent way to play the game... Some internal campaign within civfabatics forums? Multimillion ad campaign? ;)
     
  17. da_Vinci

    da_Vinci Gypsy Prince

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    I suppose if AlanH takes one furlough day, then we could afford that ... :)lol: :mischief:)

    dV
     
  18. Gnejs

    Gnejs Deity

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    I'd like to see a development that makes each game more interesting for all players, not just the ones competing for the awards. And I don't think we need more awards...

    How about some sort of ladder instead of the rather uninteresting global rankings? You could get to challenge someone ahead of you on the ladder by stating one or two victory conditions (not time!) and then the one with the earliest finish date wins. That way there would be lots of "duels" going on which might make for some competitive challenges all over the board.
     
  19. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    I'd like to see an award for the most informative/entertaining spoiler. Perhaps determined by a vote amongst everyone who submitted a completed game.
     
  20. vra379971

    vra379971 Deity

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    As noted before in SGOTM...ADVANCED STARTS!

    After being Lord of the files and mud huts for the 1000th time, one wishes he, at least, started a little closer to indoor plumbing.
     

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